- One of the vice president's longest serving aides, the Indian American is the latest high-profile departure from the vice president's office.
Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary to Vice President Kamala Harris is leaving her office to join the Department of Defense. Singh’s departure was announced in an internal email sent by Jamal Simmons, the new communications director for the vice president, CBS News reported. “We will miss her institutional knowledge, strategic counsel and rapid-fire email fingers,” read the email, according to CBS News.
Singh was one of Harris’ longest-serving aides, and has been her deputy press secretary since the beginning of the administration. She was first hired by Harris in March 2020 to run communications for her political operations. At the time Singh became the first Indian American to assume the role of a press secretary to a U.S. vice-president nominee. She also worked for Harris during the general election and the transition.
The 33-year-old is the granddaughter of Sardar J.J. Singh of the India League of America, who championed the cause of the right to immigration. The long, arduous, nationwide campaign culminated in the then-president Harry Truman signing the Luce-Celler Act on July 2, 1946. The signing of the Act allowed a quota of 100 Indians to immigrate to the United States per annum.
Her father, Manjit Singh, was born in the U.S. in New York, in 1956, but when he was just five, her grandparents moved the family to independent India and to New Delhi. Manjit and his brother Man Mohan grew up in Delhi. After J.J. Singh died in 1976, Manjit Singh, who was chairman and CEO of Sony India, and her mom Srila Singh, decided to immigrate to the U.S.
Singh is the latest high-profile departure from the vice president’s office, “which suffered a turbulent first year due to missteps and messaging failures,” CNN reported. Harris’ communications director Ashley Etienne left in November, and a month later her press secretary Symone Sanders departed in December. Etienne was replaced by Simmons earlier this year.
“These departures have caused a reset in Harris’ press team,” said Politico, which first broke the news of Singh’s departure. Herbie Ziskend is being promoted to a senior advisor for communications, while assistant press secretary Arachel Palermo will be the deputy communications director. Ernesto Apreza, Harris’ senior advisor for public engagement, is the new deputy press secretary, and Tate Mitchell, an alum of Harris’ presidential campaign has moved from the Small Business Administration to be press operations coordinator, Politico said.
Before her role on the campaign, Singh served as Senior Spokesperson for former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign and National Press Secretary for New Jersey Senator Cory Booker’s presidential campaign. She previously served as Deputy Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee, Spokesperson for American Bridge’s Trump War Room and Regional Communications Director on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. She has also worked at SKDKnickerbocker, serving as Communications Director for Rep. Jan Schakowsky and has worked at various Democratic committees.
She is an alumna of the University of Southern California and majored in International Relations. She began her career at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) as the press assistant, which was her first exposure to political campaigns. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Mike Smith, political director for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and two dogs.